19 Nov STEM Challenge – Make Your Own Butter
Next week is Thanksgiving, and this weekend we are challenging you to make your own butter the old fashioned way! Maybe you can even make it again for your family’s Thanksgiving meal.
Visit our blog every Thursday to see our latest STEM challenge and share your creations on social media using #CMMSSTEMChallenge or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to submit your photos to us by Monday, November 23!
- Heavy Cream
- Mason Jar or other container with lid
- Measuring Cup
- Use your measuring cup to measure 2/3 cup of your cream.
- Pour the cream in the jar and put the lid on tight.
- Now, it’s time to shake a lot. Take turns shaking the jar with your family members so you don’t get too tired!
- Use a timer to see how long it takes you to make butter. (It should take about 8-10 minutes depending on how fast you are shaking).
- When you stop hearing the liquid move around, stop to observe what is happening. When you take a look, you will see whipped cream. When you hit the whipped cream stage, you’ve got to keep going. The shaking is harder to do, so shake as hard as you can. Suddenly, in a split second, everything changes. You’ll hear a solid substance plopping about inside your jar, and you have butter!
- Once you have butter, open up the jar to see the butter sitting in a liquid. Use your strainer to separate the butter from the buttermilk. (That’s how buttermilk got its name – it’s the liquid leftover from making butter.)
- Get out some bread and spread a little butter on it. You’ve got to taste your results!
As you shake, the molecules in the heavy cream move around. The friction from the shaking causes the fat molecules to separate and join together. You can accomplish this by shaking the jar, or using a butter churn which is how people used to make butter in the past. The motion of the churn’s stick moving up and down had the same effect as our jar shaking.